Gitanjali Rao is a name that has definitely become a common household name as of recently. Nine months after being featured on Marvel’s Hero Project, life definitely switched to hyper speed for Gitanjali Rao. This young scientist whiz kid has been selected for a high hour after Time Magazine named her the first-ever Kid of the Year. An unscripted series that was described as focusing on “the positive impact several young, real-life heroes are making in their own communities across the country,” Rao was featured in the March 6 episode of the show which is currently streaming on Disney+.
Each episode highlights not only the efforts being done by these youngsters with Rao’s episode showed her creating a device to detect contaminants in water after being inspired by the ongoing Flint water crisis. Each episode also sees the subject drawn into their own Marvel comic book. “I feel like there wasn’t really one specific aha moment,” Rao said in an interview with Marvel’s Eternals star Angelina Jolie about how she became interested in science.
She further continues,
“I was always someone who wanted to put a smile on someone’s face. That was my everyday goal, just to make someone happy. And it soon turned into, How can we bring positivity and community to the place we live? And then when I was in second or third grade, I started thinking about how can we use science and technology to create social change. I was like 10 when I told my parents that I wanted to research carbon nanotube sensor technology at the Denver Water quality research lab, and my mom was like, ‘A what?’ It was just that changing factor of, you know this work is going to be in our generation’s hands pretty soon. So if no one else is gonna do it, I’m gonna do it.”
She goes on to express,
“I think more than anything right now, we just need to find that one thing we’re passionate about and solve it. Even if it’s something as small as, I want to find an easy way to pick up litter. Everything makes a difference. Don’t feel pressured to come up with something big.”
The best part about all this is that there were over 5,000 nominees for the Kid of the Year and it was appropriately chosen by a committee of kids which included Nickelodeon stars Young Dylan and Chinguun Sergelen, Disney star Sky Katz, Little Chef Ivy, and Time For Kids kid reporters Tiana Sirmans and Raunak Singh. Comedian Trevor Noah also worked with the group to select the winner and the five finalists. We here at QuirkyByte congratulate Gitanjali Rao with all our heart and wish for even bigger things for her.